Reading Group Center

Read The Story That Inspired Swamplandia!

Swamplandia! is the story of thirteen-year-old Ava Bigtree and her journey to save her family and their island home/gator-wrestling theme park. This debut novel from Karen Russell is an arrestingly beautiful and imaginative work about a family’s struggle to stay afloat in a world that is sinking. Karen’s short story collection, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, included an early version of Ava’s tale. For a taste of Swamplandia!‘s inventive world, read on for the complete text of “Ava Wrestles the Alligator.”

Click here to read an excerpt from Swamplandia!, and click here to download our reading group guide.

(If you have any trouble reading the short story using the Scribd widget below, please click here to view the story on a separate page.)